At least 7 killed in al-Shabaab attack at Somali military base

A blind-folded suspect is detained by Somalia security forces after attackers from the militant group al Shabaab invaded the African Union's Halane base in Mogadishu, Dec. 26, 2014. (Reuters)

Somalian al-Shabaab militants attacked a military base in the outskirts of the town of Baidoa on Friday morning, killing at least seven soldiers, a Somali military official said.

The attack came two days after the United States said it had killed the chief of al-Shabaab’s intelligence and security wing, Tahliil Abdishakur, in a drone strike. Al-Shabaab seeks to topple the Western-backed Mogadishu government and impose its own strict version of Islamic law.

“Al-Shabaab attacked our base unexpectedly, early in the morning today. We lost seven soldiers,” Captain Ahmed Idow, a Somali military officer, told Reuters by telephone from Baidoa.

Idow said Somali soldiers killed three al-Shabaab insurgents during the attack.

A spokesman for al Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab said the group had briefly seized the base and killed more than 10 soldiers.

Al-Shabaab often cites a higher death toll than the number given by officials.

“We fiercely attacked the military base near Baidoa,” Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al-Shabaab’s military operation spokesman, told Reuters. In a separate incident in central Somalia on Friday, al-Shabaab ambushed a government convoy carrying food aid, killing one soldier, according to Somali officials.

A spokesman for al-Shabaab confirmed the group was behind the attack.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:43 - GMT 06:43